All posts tagged: longest-serving Israeli prime minister

The Shattered Myth of Benjamin Netanyahu

The Shattered Myth of Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu has always known what he wants his political epitaph to be. “I would like to be remembered as the protector of Israel,” he told the journalist Fareed Zakaria in 2016. “That’s enough for me.” The longest-serving Israeli prime minister has repeated this refrain for more than a decade, in English and Hebrew. It is the core case he has made for himself to the Israeli people, part of a winning electoral argument begrudgingly credited even by some of his critics. You may not like me and you may not trust me, he would imply, but only I can keep you safe. “The ability to spot danger in advance and prepare for it is the test of a body’s functioning,” Netanyahu once said on an Israeli talk show. “The Jewish nation has never excelled at foreseeing danger. We were surprised again and again—and the last time was the most awful one. That won’t happen under my leadership.” He concluded to applause: “This is what the state of Israel expects from me, and this is …